Writes Cooking columnist Sybil Pratt, “Winter root veggies seem drab when compared to the bright greens, reds, yellows and stripes of their summer cousins, and they’re often gnarly and inelegant looking. But this vast subterranean kingdom can be a treasure trove of culinary delights that not only taste good but are a good source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber.”
The key to getting better acquainted with these “underground wonders” is Diane Morgan’s Roots. Packed with 225 recipes, there’s no better way to be veggie-friendly in the winter.
Blood Orange Salad with Jicama, Arugula and Oil-Cured Olives
This minty citrus salad is a refreshing accompaniment to a wintertime dinner or buffet. Every component of the salad can be prepared and ready to serve well in advance. You can also make the dressing several hours or even a day ahead. Buy washed and ready-to-use arugula or mâche in 5-ounce/140-gram bags. It takes time to cut the jicama and to peel and slice the blood oranges, so get those tasks done ahead. Arrange the oranges on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside at room temperature until ready to assemble the salad.
- ⅓ cup/45 g thinly sliced shallot
- ¼ cup/60 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup/60 ml fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbsp finely minced fresh mint
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 1¼ tsp kosher salt
- ⅛ tsp freshly ground pepper
- 8 oz/225 g jicama, trimmed, peeled, and cut into matchsticks 2 in/5 cm long and ¼ in/6 mm thick
- ½ tsp kosher or fine sea salt
- 8 blood oranges
- 5 oz/140 g arugula or mâche (about 8 cups lightly packed)
- 24 oil-cured black olives
- Freshly ground pepper
To make the dressing, in a small jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the shallot, oil, lemon juice, mint, mustard, sugar, salt, and pepper. Cover tightly and shake vigorously to blend. Taste and adjust seasoning. Set aside. (The dressing can be made 1 day in advance and refrigerated. Remove from the refrigerator 2 hours before serving.)
Meanwhile, toss the jicama with the salt and place in a colander in the sink to drain for 30 minutes. Blot dry with paper towels.
Working with one orange at a time, cut a slice from the top and bottom to reveal the flesh. Stand the orange upright and slice away the peel from the sides in wide strips, cutting downward, following the contour of the fruit, and removing all of the white pith. Cut the orange crosswise into slices ¼ in/6 mm thick. Repeat with the remaining oranges.
Divide the orange slices evenly among individual salad plates, arranging them in a ring and leaving the center open. In a bowl, toss together the arugula and jicama to mix well. Drizzle the dressing over the top and toss to coat evenly. Divide the salad evenly among the plates, mounding a cluster of it in the center of each plate so that it overlaps the oranges slightly. Arrange 3 olives on each plate. Grind a little pepper over each salad. Serve immediately.